What were your impressions about day one?
I expected us to have excitement and energy, and we did. The grip of what we're doing on offense is obviously a lot better than it was in the spring.
It was nice to have all those pieces back that we were missing. Matt Dayes and Reggie back out there at running back. Jaylen Samuels out at tight end. Joe Scelfo in there at center and seeing Tony Adams next to him, Will Richardson. There were a lot of pieces we didn't have in the spring that we were able to watch today.
You can't get too excited because we're not hitting yet, but it was a good first day.
What did the quarterbacks look like to you?
It's going to be a good competition.
So far, they know what's going on. We're not blitzing yet on defense and it's day one, but I thought they threw the ball around nice today and had good command of what he was asking them to do.
How long do you think that decision will take?
I don't know. It's really up to them. If one of them emerges and takes over it's going to be easy. If it doesn't happen, it could go all the way to the game.
Do you feel like you're over-scrutinizing?
I'm going to give it time. I didn't make a decision in the spring for a reason. I wanted to see them in a body of work. We're going to have a lot of situations in the 29 practices that we'll go through.
What did you think of Ryan Finley?
Today was the first day that I got to see him play football live. He has good touch on the ball, he has good energy, and he definitely has command of what he's doing which brings confidence to those guys around him.
I haven't seen him run a whole lot yet, we didn't ask those guys to run today, but he threw the ball well on the move when they were rolling out. He has good accuracy, and we knew that when we recruited him.
How excited are you about what Eli Drinkwitz is going to bring to the table?
I'm excited about all of my coaches. Having him here, a new coordinator, everyone wants to know, but I'm expecting all nine of our assistants to coach the best they've ever coached.
He brings a lot of energy to the table, and he's excited about what we're doing. I think they have good chemistry on the offensive staff.
Do you feel like you had good tempo today?
Yes, it's different. Obviously when you no-huddle it's going to be different. We went fast a little bit, here and there, and I think we got a lot of plays in, in a short period of time.
How did it all go down with bringing in Joe Scelfo?
We found out at the end of the season that he had taken some official visits, and we had heard that he might open it up after the spring. He did and we went through the chain of command, getting a release and getting him up here, see what it's all about.
Obviously we played against him, watched him on film. We know his father, George Barlow and his dad worked together, so there was a little on-staff trust... but he had to get to know me and coach Ledford before it was a done deal.
The yellow jersey on Matt Dayes... is that precaution?
Yes, it is. We don't want to take any shots on him that we don't need to. Green means don't touch people and yellow is precaution.
He'll still be in there in contact situations, but we want people to stay away from his feet as much as they can.
Will you try to keep those guys on the field more this year... Matt, Jaylen, Nyheim?
I think in a perfect world they'd be out there every snap, but when we're going fast like we will be that won't be realistic. There will be times in a long drive they will get tired.
They'll play as much as we can play them, unless someone emerges them as a guy who deserves some of those reps.
Thoughts on wide receivers:
Bra'lon Cherry is a guy we can count on, we knew that. Steph Louis was probably our most productive guy in the spring, coming back. Nyheim is playing in the slot with Maurice Trowell behind him so we like the depth there.
The biggest thing will be getting some experience to the younger guys at the outside position.
Any comparisons to what you faced at quarterback when you first came here?
No, there's not a comparison. Brandon Mitchell was a wide receiver at Arkansas and had to come in here and learn how to play.
We have two guys that have all the skills you want, and we have another, Jakobi Meyers, who is coming off an ankle. He's electric. We just have to get him healthy so he can join the competition.
What do you like most about Jalan McClendon in the competition?
He's been through the process. He's redshirted, and took his time learning the system and maturing. He was Jacoby's backup for two years. He played in game reps last year, he's waited his turn. He was in command last summer with the guys and took charge of his opportunities.
He can throw the football as well as anybody I've seen, so now it's just getting him into situations enough to see how he'll handle adversity.